SEATTLE—Anthony “Tony” Armada is leaving Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago to become CEO on Nov. 1 of Swedish Health Services, the largest health system in Seattle. Armada, 53, has been president of Advocate Health's Park Ridge, Ill., teaching hospital since 2009, joining the Chicago area's largest system after five years as president and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital and Health Network in Detroit. In Seattle, he succeeds interim Swedish CEO Marcel Loh, who stepped in after Kevin Brown left to become president and CEO of Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare. Swedish is a not-for-profit health system with more than 1,000 staffed beds across the five campuses of Swedish Medical Center, as well as a medical group with more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics. In 2012, Swedish formed an affiliation with Providence Health & Services, a Roman Catholic system based in Renton, Wash., that operates about 30 hospitals in the western U.S. “Tony Armada brings an impressive record of leading large, diverse and innovative healthcare systems focused on patient safety and care quality,” Swedish Community Board Chair Nancy Auer said in a news release. In 2007, Armada was the inaugural chairman of the Asian Health Care Leaders Association, and he is a past chairman of the American Hospital Association's Institute for Diversity in Health Management. He was twice named to Modern Healthcare's list of the Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare.
Regional News/West: Anthony Armada named CEO of Swedish Health Services and other news
OCEANSIDE, Calif.—Tri-City Medical Center says it's moving on from a losing four-year legal battle with competitor Scripps Health. The public hospital argued in California Superior Court that San Diego-based Scripps was competing unfairly by having its physicians encourage patients to bypass Tri-City and travel to Scripps facilities for care. Senior leadership at Tri-City decided to drop the suit in light of the many changes that have transpired in healthcare, according to a news release, leading the board to conclude “the residents of its district would be better served” by focusing its resources on improvement on quality and outcomes measures rather than legal bills. Senior leadership at Tri-City, meanwhile, is in flux. Last month, the board put CEO Larry Anderson on paid leave. The hospital filed the Scripps lawsuit shortly after hiring Anderson. A judge dismissed the complaint in March, and Tri-City appealed. Scripps said in a statement that the system welcomed a letter from Tri-City's attorney suggesting the lawsuit's end could herald a “new chapter of cooperation between our hospitals.”
IRVINE, Calif.—MemorialCare Health System and UC Irvine Health will open a string of primary-care health centers that employ UC Irvine primary-care physicians and complement existing UC Irvine physician practices. UC Irvine will collaborate with the MemorialCare Medical Foundation, the physician group division of MemorialCare, to develop the centers. Two new centers could open within the next 12 months, said UC Irvine CEO Terry Belmont. Neither institution would reveal how many are planned. Belmont said he hoped UC Irvine would learn from MemorialCare's experience with primary care and population health management of patients. “It's a huge plus for us to be able to take advantage of the medical management experience of MemorialCare,” Belmont said. MemorialCare President and CEO Barry Arbuckle touted the breadth of services and facilities under the two organizations. MemorialCare, a five-hospital system based in Fountain Valley, Calif., operates more than 200 clinics in Los Angeles and Orange counties with 12,000 employees and 3,000 physicians. UC Irvine, a major academic medical center, operates a 363-bed facility in Orange that is part of UC Health.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Oct. 1 that will expand the ability of pharmacists to serve patients and collaborate with other healthcare providers, which Brown said would mean greater access to care and improved quality and efficiency. The bill, supported by the California Pharmacist Association and backed by both parties in the California Senate and Assembly, is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The California Medical Association opposed the bill in its original form because it authorized pharmacists to perform duties it perceived to be beyond their scope without the collaboration of a physician. But once amendments were added that include integration with a physician and create the advanced-practice pharmacist designation—with appropriate education and training—the association took a neutral stance. The legislation includes authorization for pharmacists to administer drugs and routine vaccinations, as well as order and interpret tests to monitor drug therapies. It also establishes board recognition for an advanced-practice pharmacist and specifies additional functions that can be performed by such providers, including patient assessments.
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Banner Health took another step in its move to compete head-to-head in Northern Colorado with University of Colorado Health System's two-campus Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins. The Phoenix-based system held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of Banner Fort Collins Medical Center. To start, it will be a two-story facility hospital with an emergency department, a 24-bed inpatient unit, labor and delivery rooms, medical imaging, surgical services and lab services, as well as an outpatient clinic and medical office building. Banner plans to build more on the 28-acre campus as demand grows, and the system has secured an exclusive contract to provide hospital services to Kaiser Permanente members in the area.
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